B.C. finance ministry projections show improvement in economic growth, declining next year as recovery continues from the initial slump due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (B.C. government)

B.C. finance ministry projections show improvement in economic growth, declining next year as recovery continues from the initial slump due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (B.C. government)

B.C. forecasts $4.8 billion deficit as province’s revenues rise

Increased tax take, federal transfers reduce forecast by half

The B.C. government took in $6.2 billion more than forecast in its spring budget, finance ministry results for the first quarter of the fiscal year show.

Federal funding for COVID-19 response and promised increases in federal child care funding reduced the projected deficit for 2021-21 to $4.8 billion. with higher-than-expected personal and corporate income tax and natural resource revenues, the finance ministry reported Monday. That was offset by increased provincial spending on services such as health care, and costs of an intense forest fire season in B.C.

B.C.’s gross domestic product is now forecast to grow by 6.0 per cent in 2021 and 4.0 per cent in 2022, with continued improvement in employment. B.C.’s unemployment rate for August was 6.2 per cent, down from more than 13 per cent at the beginning of the pandemic early 2020.

“We have all been impacted by the pandemic, and the collective actions of British Columbians have brought us through this unprecedented challenge together,” Finance Minister Selina Robinson said Sept. 13. “This is the driving force behind B.C.’s faster-than-expected economic recovery and our improved outlook.”

RELATED: B.C. budget forecasts improvement from $10 billion deficit

RELATED: B.C. spending balloons, beyond COVID-19 response


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislatureBC politicsCoronavirus